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Nikki and Kydrenn
Gestational Diabetes, planned c-section turned into vaginal birth!

Kydrenn is my third child, the fantasy baby I didn't know I wanted. My first two pregnancies had been hard on me, and my husband and I had agreed that two healthy children, a boy and a girl, were enough. I was beginning to check into getting my tubes ties when I discovered I was pregnant. As with my other pregnancies, I pretty much knew at conception, and I have to admit it took me quite a while to accept it. Although he had adamantly stated that he only wanted two children, my husband dealt with the news better than I did, and the kids, ages 6 and 3, were thrilled. The early part of the pregnancy was miserable. I react strongly to Estrogen and this time was sicker than before. The job I had required more hours during that time, and it was hot and we had ball games every night. After we made it through the summer, flu season hit and the kids and I all got sick. Then I had a pinched sciatic nerve in my hip and spent an afternoon in the hospital in excruciating pain. I began to feel symptoms of my gestational diabetes at about 22 weeks (I had it in my first two pregnancies as well), and spent the rest of the pregnancy very restricted in terms of diet. I also had a lot of extra appointments and blood tests. I had a lot of anxiety throughout the pregnancy - at first because I was getting used to the idea of having a third child, and then, following our mid-term ultrasound, I was terrified that something would happen to the baby. I spent a lot of time talking to our pastor and praying for the safety of the little girl I was coming to realize I had always wanted.

I am a very tiny person (4' 11", 95 lb) and so when I'm pregnant it really shows. However, this time I was really huge, although with the restricted diet I gained less than 20 lbs. Everyone, including the doctor, expected me to go into labor around Christmas (I was due January 6). The doctor said that due to my diabetes she would induce me on December 30 if I hadn't gone on my own. During my last month I experienced some strange things. Some days I would feel like the baby had dropped and had a lot of pressure in my pelvic area. Then other days I would feel like she had grown overnight and she was not dropped at all. As time went on, I became very discouraged that I hadn't gone into labor early as expected, but at the same time was praying hard for the safety of the baby. An ultrasound at 37 weeks had revealed her head was down, but there was excess fluid, and she was having trouble staying in position. When I was checked on December 29 (39 weeks), she had turned and was in an unstable, transverse breech position and I was at high risk of cord prolapse, should my water break. I was scheduled for a c-section the next morning, which terrified and disappointed me. However, I was greatly relieved to know the reason for what I had been feeling (she had been changing positions all along) and encouraged that she was going to be ok. My biggest disappointment was that my Mom, who had never experienced a "normal," vaginal birth, was going to miss out yet again (we lived far away when we had the other two).

The joke in our family is that I need a crisis to throw me into labor. My first labor was triggered by the death of a friend, and I went into labor with my daughter while at home caring for my son, who had the stomach flu. I kept telling the doctor that I needed her to give me a crisis to put me into labor this time. However, it appeared that I was not going to have a labor this time. We checked into a motel room (we live over an hour from the hospital so it was not safe to go all the way home) and tried to prepare ourselves for surgery the next morning. We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. and were checked in to a LDRP room to be prepped for surgery. The doctor came in and wanted to do a last-minute ultrasound. Imagine our surprise when she said, "the head's down, let's check you." The exam revealed her head was engaged, although she was still very high, and my cervix was softening and I was having mild contractions on my own. The doctor said the c-section was cancelled; I could either try the pit (she warned me it would be a hard induction because she was so high) or wait a week. I thought about it for about a half second and then told her to "hook me up."

When our families and pastor arrived at 8:30, expecting me to be wheeling into surgery, they were shocked to find me sitting up in the bed with the monitors on and a huge smile on my face! I labored with the pit until about 10:30, when I was at 2-3 cm and decided I was ready for my epidural. I received that around 11:15, and about 12:00 started feeling odd - kind of shaky and weird. The nurse checked me at around 1:00 and I was dilated to a 7 (we think I had been in transition). The doctor walked in about 5 minutes later and checked again and I was an 8. Needless to say, we got excited and called everyone back from lunch. Since my bag of waters was so huge, and the baby was still relatively high, the doctor preferred to let me wait it out instead of breaking my water. Shortly thereafter, it began to leak some with each contraction. The beauty of the epidural is that, even though there is no pain, you can still feel everything that's happening, so I was able to tell them when I felt the pressure and the leaking, and when I was ready to push I knew it. We pushed through 3 contractions, and then she was here! My Mom and Mother-in law were both in the room, which was really neat.

Kydrenn weighed a surprisingly small 6 lbs 14 oz, and had quite a bit of long brown hair (my other two didn't have much hair at all so this was really cool). My other two kids were allowed into the room as soon as we were all cleaned up, and we named her Kydrenn Grace. We really felt like she was a gift of Grace!! Although she turned our lives upside down for a while, Kydrenn is a real blessing and we are so thankful for her!

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